What is your favorite part of working as an Inventory Analyst?
I really love that I am able to utilize my curious nature and develop new strategies or process improvements to help my business run more efficiently. This role is truly what you make it and you are empowered to challenge the status quo and think outside the box.
There’s never a typical day so, what does a week as an IA look like?
At Target the workload comes in waves depending on the time of year/season. Sometimes you are preparing for a Transition- where you are getting out of old product, and replacing it with new product, others you are building strategies to protect inventory for special events (i.e. promotions, holidays, bad weather, competitor liquidation, etc.). Mondays are primarily spent recapping the previous week, “Status” (aka meeting) with your Business Unit (Buyer, Planner, Associate Buyer, Merchandise Specialist, Manager, etc.), and validating domestic purchase orders. The rest of the week consists of troubleshooting out of stocks, putting out fires, collaborating with vendors on forecasts, and any tasks that need to be done for your captainship.
What have you learned / what skills have you built in this role?
In this role I have mastered organization and prioritization—there are constant “fires” that pop up in the business that require immediate attention, so you have to be good at recognizing what is top priority and ensuring that gets done first. That leads me to the next big skill I have developed in this role: communication. Things are always changing and I’ve learned that it is important to keep everyone in your Business Unit updated since everyone’s work is so reliant on one another. Lastly, I have developed leadership skills as an Inventory Analyst through various captainships and mentoring new Inventory Analysts.
What is your greatest accomplishment in your career at Target so far?
A few months ago, I was given the opportunity to build a strategy for my Division to help safeguard inventory in Target locations impacted by the closure of a major retailer. By implementing this strategy, the team was able to funnel more inventory to those locations in an attempt to gain share in the market and support our planned sales for the Division.
What brought you to Target after your first job?
I have always loved Target. Growing up in Southern Virginia, the closest Target store was an hour away—so it was always a treat when I got the opportunity to go. Fast forward several years- imagine getting a call from that same company that you always loved and admired. To say I was elated is an understatement. I flew out to HQ for interviews and experienced Target’s culture firsthand, I was hooked. It was such a stark contrast from the company I was with at the time, and I knew I had to be a part of the Target Family—I say family very intentionally because of the strong friendships I’ve made not in my time here.
You relocated to Minneapolis. What drew you to the city and why do you stay?
Obviously Target was a big draw to Minneapolis, but outside of that I fell in love with the city itself when I flew out here for my interview. I think it is so great to be able to have a city atmosphere and then walk three blocks to a park or walk around one of the many lakes. It’s the perfect mix of industrial and nature. And there is ALWAYS something to do. There is truly a festival for everything here—even a food truck festival! Most importantly, through Target I have been able to build so many friendships not only with my past and present coworkers, but also externally. Moving here without knowing anyone was extremely scary, but I am so happy I did.
Best career advice you’ve received?
Always assume positive intent and know that everyone is doing the best they can. Things go wrong, deadlines are missed, out of stocks happen, but always know that everyone you work with is working toward the same goal and at the end of the day, you are a team.
Are you involved in anything at Target outside of your day to day work?
Yes! I am part of a kickball team that plays in Northeast Mpls. I am also part of the notorious Target Donut Club.
Favorite memory on the job?
When my Director trusted me enough to present the BRU strategy to all of Inventory Management Leadership. I was so nervous, but it was such a great experience!
Friday team breakfast is a huge part of the Inventory Management culture, what’s your go to item or the most epic breakfast someone’s brought?
Someone once brought homemade crepes with all kinds of toppings. Another time someone brought banquet sized scrambled eggs, pancakes, and bacon. My personal go-to is Mama’s Breakfast Pizza- SO GOOD!
Interested in learning more about the Inventory Analyst role? Visit target.com/careers!